I’ve lived in Canada for a few years now and had the chance to travel through the country with a stop-off in Vancouver. I’ve talked to numerous travelers who weren’t sure what to do in Vancouver for three days so I thought I’d share my experiences as an authority of trustworthiness.
This 3 Day Itinerary For Vancouver will cover all the must-see sights, attractions and outdoor activities that you can take part in during your stay. From exploring Stanley Park’s lush forests and totem poles to taking the SeaBus across Burrard Inlet, there is plenty of things to do while discovering this beautiful city.
You’ll also get a chance to explore some of Vancouver’s best museums including the Museum of Anthropology and the Vancouver Aquarium. Plus, you can soak up some culture at Granville Island or go on an exciting whale watching adventure!
So without further ado let’s dive into this 3 day itinerary and make sure you find enough time during your stay in Vancouver to experience everything it has to offer!
Nestled between the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean’s sparkling waters is where Vancouver’s bustling city sits. This cosmopolitan jewel has gained popularity over the years with its stunning natural beauty, diverse culture and vibrant urban landscape.
If you’re wondering how many days in Vancouver you should spend, we’ll be sharing with you this 3 day Itinerary for Vancouver three days are more than enough to enjoy the city.
Vancouver is Canada’s hidden gem, and with its prime location, many visitors consider visiting (and even migrating). In fact, Vancouver is now Canada’s most ethnically diverse and dense city, where over half a million people are crammed in the area.
Its mix of past and modern times allows visitors to enjoy famous landmarks and fun outdoor adventures. Vancouver is also situated in the vibrant coastal city of British Columbia, Canada, surrounded by lush rain forests, mountain ranges and urban buildings – which are enough reasons to enjoy a -3 day trip to Vancouver.
Some of the must-see attractions in the city are Stanley Park and the world-renowned Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. While Vancouver offers excellent views from its mountains and seaside area, you can get an incredible view of the city if you take the hiking trails on the North Shore Mountains.
Aside from these, the city is also known for its vibrant culture, rich cuisine and diverse population. If you visit the city, enjoy museums, galleries, and craft beer breweries in Downtown Vancouver.
All these you can enjoy if you visit Vancouver during early autumn (May to October) while the weather is still mild and sunny. You’d want to avoid being stuck in the rain or snow because you are visiting Vancouver to enjoy its many outdoor activities!
It’s also important to stay somewhere convenient and accessible. To see everything you want to see in Vancouver in 3 days, we highly suggest you stay in Central Vancouver or the downtown area. This is Vancouver’s most thriving neighbourhood, close to many tourist destinations and main transportation hubs.
Below, we’ll continue to share all the details and information you’ll need for your 3 days in Vancouver itinerary. So, make sure to keep notes as you read through the rest!
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Overview of 3 Days in Vancouver Itinerary
Here’s a glance at what you’ll see and do in three days in Vancouver:
Day 1 in Vancouver
- Get Breakfast at Jam Cafe
- Explore Downtown Vancouver
- Discover art at the Vancouver Art Gallery
- Lunch at Cafe Medina
- Visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge
- Shop at Gastown
- Dine and Drink at Yaletown
Day 2 in Vancouver
- Breakfast at Twisted Fork
- Bike around Stanley Park Seawall
- Visit the Vancouver Aquarium
- Lunch at Hawksworth Bar
- Hike the North Shore Mountains
- Relax on Vancouver’s Beaches
- Street Food for Dinner at Richmond Night Market
Day 3 in Vancouver
- Quick Breakfast at Nero Belgian Waffle Bar
- Go Whale Watching
- Explore Granville Island
- Lunch at Granville’s Public Market
- Ride a Sky Gondola to the Sky Summit
- Join a Vancouver Craft Brewery Tour
- Dinner at Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
Day 1 in Vancouver
Get Breakfast at Jam Cafe
Jam Cafe is one of Vancouver’s best and most famous breakfast places, so we highly recommend where to have your first meal during a trip to Vancouver. This restaurant has been open since 2012 and has continuously exceeded its diners’ expectations.
Before starting your day tour in the city, enjoy hearty meals at this popular cafe. They offer a delightful menu that satisfies sweet and savoury cravings, including chicken and waffles, French toast topped with seasonal fruits and even poutine.
Be ready for some lines since Jam Cafe is a popular breakfast place among locals and tourists.
Explore Downtown Vancouver
After breakfast, head to Vancouver’s downtown, where you can immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant and radiant energy. You’ll observe how locals usually spend their day in this busy neighbourhood of Vancouver.
Downtown Vancouver is also the largest Chinatown in Canada, where you can stroll through and find some good eats and boutique shops. Wander along Robson Street, the city’s premier shopping destination, and discover many boutiques, international brands, and trendy stores.
Here you can also find the next stop for this 3 day itinerary in Vancouver, the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Discover art at the Vancouver Art Gallery
After strolling downtown, continue exploring Vancouver as you head to the Vancouver Art Gallery. The Vancouver Art Gallery features a wide range of contemporary and historical art and has a permanent collection of more than 12,000 works and rotating exhibitions.
If you are an art enthusiast, you’ll enjoy your town discovering art pieces inside each exhibit and gallery in the museum. Now, even if you are just someone interested in experiencing new things, the Art Gallery of Vancouver has something for you!
Since the gallery is located in a beautiful neoclassical building in the heart of downtown Vancouver, it’s easy to get to, and you’ll have no problem finding your way to it.
Lunch at Cafe Medina
Cafe Medina is a local gem in Vancouver known to serve contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. This casual cafe attracts many locals and tourists who visit for their hearty dishes. While they are most famous for breakfast meals, you can still catch some food made with fresh ingredients for lunch here.
You’ll find yourself lining up at Cafe Medina any time of the day, but since you’re only staying for three days in Vancouver, we’d say it’s worth the wait!
Some of their best-sellers include the classic Spanish orzo flecked with smokey and spicy chorizo cubes. You can also check their menu online to save time choosing what to order once you arrive.
Visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge
Now that you’ve regained your energy by having a hearty meal, you’re probably ready for something more exhilarating. The next stop for your first-day Vancouver trip itinerary is visiting the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a well-known bridge in North America that spans 450 feet across the Capilano River and is suspended 230 feet above the canyon floor.
It is the longest suspension bridge in the world, and plenty of adventure and outdoor enthusiasts visit the place because of the feeling they get when crossing the bridge.
The bridge is inside a park, so there are other things you can explore when visiting. Once you’ve made it across, there are also several other attractions to enjoy at the other end of the bridge, such as Treetops Adventure.
Also, enjoy the Cliffwalk, a narrow walkway that clings to the side of a cliff and offers stunning views of the canyon below.
We visited the area in the afternoon specifically so you can enjoy the sunset over Vancouver’s lush green forests. Also, note that you’ll have to pay a few bucks when entering the park!
Shop at Gastown
Gastown is a neighbourhood near downtown Vancouver where you can find several shopping centres, high-end boutiques and local shops. So, after a long day of exploring and discovering the beauty of Vancouver, this is the best place to take things slow.
Aside from shopping, you can also enjoy strolling through Gastown’s cobblestone streets while checking out Victorian architecture and trendy bars and restaurants.
In fact, Gastown is one of Vancouver’s most hip areas. It usually gets lively and vibrant at night, and you might even come across events, festivals, and live performances in the area.
Another must-see attraction in Gastown is the famous Gastown Steam Clock, which whistles and steams on the hour.
But since you’ll be visiting at night, it’s best to wander the streets and take in the sights and sounds of this vibrant part of the city.
Dine and Drink at Yaletown
Yaletown is home to plenty of well-known restaurants in Vancouver, and it’s the best place to cap off your first busy day in Vancouver. Among the many restaurants you can choose from include Tacofino Yaletown, Robba da Matti, Moltaqa Moroccan and The Greek.
While all these offer great food, we highly suggest you dine and drink at Brix + Mortar. This Canadian restaurant is hidden inside a heritage building with a gorgeous private patio.
They are well-known for their duck and wild salmon and feature an extensive wine list to pair with your meals. Brix + Mortar does offer not only great food but also a dining experience to remember.
Day 2 in Vancouver
Breakfast at Twisted Fork
Twisted Fork is a highly-rated charming restaurant known to serve great breakfast meals. Their menu is inspired by French and Belgian cuisine, such as fluffy omelettes, homemade pastries, and savoury crepes. Their eggs Benedict and Brioche French toast is a crowd favourite, which we highly suggest you try.
Aside from the food, Twisted Fork is also famous for its warm and homey vibe that visitors describe it having a meal here, like “breakfast at mom’s.”
Because of its cosy atmosphere, many locals and tourists come to get their breakfast here, so expect many people to come. They do not accept early reservations, so be sure to go early.
Bike around Stanley Park Seawall
Stanley Park Seawall is a long stretch of pathway around the city’s waterfront for about 9 kilometres (5.5 miles). This is one of the most famous spots in Vancouver, and here you’ll see many people doing daily jogging or walking exercises and people on their bikes.
No matter how many days in Vancouver you spend, we highly suggest you don’t leave this destination out of your itinerary. While it may seem like a simple walkway, you can enjoy many activities here.
If you don’t want to stroll around while walking, we suggest you rent a bike! Pedal along the 9route, passing by attractions like the Totem Poles and Third Beach and also take in the fresh coastal air along the seawall.
Many bike rentals are at the park entrance, so that you won’t have a problem looking for them. We also suggested you go during the morning so you’re still pumped with energy. This only takes one to two hours, depending on your pace and the stops you make between landmarks.
Visit the Vancouver Aquarium
Located within Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium is another must-visit attraction for nature lovers.
Here you can explore the underwater world and encounter various marine life, from playful dolphins to majestic beluga whales. Enjoy the mesmerising jellyfish display or the thrilling sea otter feeding session.
You’ll also be able to learn about conservation efforts and enjoy educational presentations and interactive exhibits.
While a visit to the Aquarium needs to be done with a group, you can still enjoy roaming around the attraction if you’re a solo traveller.
But, if you’re with friends and family, the Vancouver Aquarium also provides an immersive and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
Lunch at Hawksworth Bar
You should not miss out on one of Vancouver’s most famous restaurants, Hawksworth Bar, during your days in Vancouver.
This restaurant is located just in Vancouver’s downtown, offering a sophisticated dining experience for everyone.
You can enjoy their creative and seasonal menu featuring dishes like Pacific seafood chowder, gourmet burgers, and delectable salads.
Although it may seem early for a drink, you can always enjoy a handcrafted cocktail or wine while on vacation!
With its chic ambience and culinary excellence, Hawksworth Bar is a top choice for a memorable lunch in Vancouver.
Hike the North Shore Mountains
Vancouver is known to be surrounded by waters but is also home to plenty of mountains. Canada’s famous North Shore Mountains are just a few minutes away from Vancouver.
If you’re prepared to go on an adventure, we highly suggest you do not skip this hiking adventure. You just need to travel for a few minutes by transportation or join a guided tour.
The North Shore Mountains offer a range of trails suitable for all levels of hikers, so whether or not you’re an expert, you can choose what path to take.
You can either embark on the Grouse Grind, a challenging trail that rewards you with panoramic views of the city at the summit or explore Lynn Canyon Park for a more leisurely hike.
Ultimately, this is the best place to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty and enjoy the tranquillity of Canada’s outdoors.
Relax on Vancouver’s Beaches
After taking a long hike, once you’re back in Vancouver, take a break from the urban bustle and unwind on one of Vancouver’s stunning beaches.
Kitsilano Beach, known as “Kits Beach” to locals, offers a long stretch of sandy shoreline, perfect for sunbathing and picnicking.
Another beach you can visit is the English Bay Beach, located near the West End. This is a popular spot for swimming and enjoying beautiful sunsets, so we highly recommend this for your 3 day trip to Vancouver.
Street Food for Dinner at Richmond Night Market
To fully immerse in Vancouver’s culture and traditions, you must eat and try some street food during your 3 days in Vancouver.
One of the go-to places for locals and tourists is the Richmond Night Market. This vibrant outdoor market features hundreds of vendors selling, making it the perfect place to try street food.
The market is open on weekends during the summer and is a great place to try new foods and experience different cultures. The most popular items include bubble tea, grilled squid, and pork belly bao.
Day 3 in Vancouver
Quick Breakfast at Nero Belgian Waffle Bar
Spending -three days in Vancouver may seem short in time, but we made sure to include every significant attraction and restaurant that is a must-visit in the city. This is why you head to Nero Belgian Waffle Bar for your quick breakfast run on the third day.
This cosy spot specialises in mouthwatering Belgian waffles topped with delightful toppings. You can choose from sweet options like fresh fruits, whipped cream, and Nutella or savoury combinations with bacon, cheese, and eggs.
Nero Belgian Waffle Bar is the perfect spot for a satisfying breakfast on the go, especially since you’ll be heading to experience lots of excursions for your third day.
Explore Granville Island
Granville Island is a popular tourist destination when visiting Vancouver, and we’re not leaving it out on this 3 days Vancouver itinerary. Located just across downtown, you’ll find Granville Island underneath the Granville Street Bridge.
This neighbourhood is a cultural and artistic hub known for its bustling public market, street performers, and unique shops. While it’s a separate part of the city that you can explore for a whole day, a few hours is already enough to see iconic landmarks.
One of Granville’s most famous spots is its Public Market. Here you can taste local cuisine and shop for souvenirs. You can also take a water taxi to False Creek or rent a bike to explore the island’s scenic bike paths.
Go Whale Watching
Vancouver is a hotspot for whale watching, especially when in season. The waters surrounding Vancouver are home to numerous species of whales, which you can see for yourself when visiting Granville Island.
You can join a guided tour and see the whales from Granville. As you sail through the west coast, keep your eyes peeled for orcas, humpback, and grey whales as they breach and swim alongside the boat.
During the tour, your assigned guides will also provide fascinating insights into these magnificent creatures’ behaviour and conservation efforts.
Lunch at Granville’s Public Market
As mentioned earlier, Granville is very well known for their Public Market. So before returning downtown, enjoy a delicious lunch at the Granville Island Public Market.
Discover a wide selection of fresh seafood, gourmet sandwiches, international cuisines, and delectable desserts here. You can grab a seat with a view of the marina and savour your meal while enjoying the market’s vibrant atmosphere.
Some food you can enjoy here includes fresh sushi, charcuterie, or a hearty bowl of soup. We also suggest you check out Lee’s Donuts, which offers a delicious assortment of doughnuts. The Granville Island Public Market provides almost everything to satisfy every palate.
Ride a Sky Gondola to the Sky Summit
Back in Vancouver, go straight to Squamish, a few minutes outside downtown. This is where you’ll find the Sea to Sky Gondola Ride.
This Gondola ride will take you to the Sky Summit. As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, forests, and Howe Sound. After arriving on top, take a leisurely walk on the elevated viewing platforms and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
While the Sky Summit also offers a variety of hiking trails suitable for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts, we suggest you take the gondola ride since it lets you experience something new.
Join a Vancouver Craft Brewery Tour
Another thing that Vancouver is proud of is their craft breweries. The city’s vibrant craft beer scene is something to look forward to in this Vancouver itinerary since you’ll only not get to taste the freshly brewed beer but also learn about the brewing process of beers.
It’s highly recommended that you join a guided tour that will take you to visit the city’s top craft breweries. You’ll gain information and insight into brewing while sampling local beers.
You’ll also get to meet passionate brewers, discover unique flavours, and gain insights into the craft beer culture of Vancouver.
Dinner at Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
Capping off your 3 perfect days in Vancouver is a dinner feast at one of Vancouver’s most well-known dinner places, Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House. From the restaurant’s name, you already know you will indulge in some excellent fresh seafood dishes with sumptuous steals.
This iconic Vancouver restaurant has been serving delectable seafood and prime steaks since 1985, and their elegant yet relaxed ambience, attentive service, and exquisite cuisine make Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House a perfect choice for a special evening in Vancouver.
Tours in Vancouver
Experience Vancouver from above as you hop aboard a seaplane that will take you on a 20-minute ride around the city. In this small-group seaplane flight, you’ll enjoy a bird’s eye view of the picturesque city, including the harbours, mountain peaks and skyline.
This seaplane tour is only limited to a few people, so you’re assured of having a personalised experience. During the ride, your captain will also act as a guide to show and explain what you see from above.
You don’t have to worry about time because this will only take 30 minutes, which means it’s enough to include on your 3-day Vancouver itinerary.
Grouse Mountain Tour
Grouse Mountain is a famous alpine playground located just 15 minutes away from Vancouver’s downtown core.
Since you’re only in Vancouver for 3 days, we highly suggest you book a tour to take care of our transportation and admission tickets to Grouse Mountain.
As you ascend to its peak, you’ll ride the largest aerial tramway in North America, the Grouse Mountain Skyride. Aside from a visit here, this tour includes a visit to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Capilano River hatchery.
To fully enjoy Vancouver’s gastronomic feast, you can join this Gastown Historic Walking Food Tour. Taking only 3 hours of your 3 day itinerary Vancouver, you’ll be exploring Vancouver’s Oldest Neighborhood, rich in history, energy, culture and good food – Gastown.
In this walking food tour, you’ll be joined by a local guide that will take you strolling through the cobbled stone streets of the neighbourhood while visiting one restaurant to another.
You might try our local craft beer, Japanese Karage chicken, freshly made Sicilian Tortellini with local wine, traditional Canadian poutine, organic soft ice cream, and cheesecake.
Not only do you get to try good food, but you’ll also be visiting famous landmarks in the area, such as the Steam Clock and Maple Tree Square.
FAQs About vancouver 3 day itinerary
What activities should I plan for my 3 day Vancouver itinerary?
When visiting Vancouver, you can enjoy a wide range of activities. From outdoor adventures like camping or kayaking to indoor activities like checking out local galleries and museums.
Popular tourist attractions include Stanley Park, Granville Island, and the Capilano Suspension Bridge. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider exploring Grouse Mountain or taking a cruise around False Creek.
Are there any budget-friendly attractions in Vancouver?
Absolutely! Vancouver is filled with free and budget-friendly attractions that you can explore on your 3 day itinerary.
Visit Gastown to admire the cobblestone streets and Victorian architecture or take a stroll along English Bay Beach. You can also find stunning views of the city from the Seawall, or head over to one of Vancouver’s many parks and gardens for some fresh air.
is 3 days enough in vancouver?
Three days is enough to get a good overview of Vancouver. You can visit some of the city’s most picturesque locations like Stanley Park and Granville Island, take a ride on the Sea to Sky gondola, or explore the many charming neighbourhoods like Chinatown and Gastown.
With three days in Vancouver, you’ll be able to experience some of the city’s best attractions while still having time to relax and enjoy its beautiful scenery.
Final Thoughts: 3 days in vancouver canada
The 3 days in Vancouver, Canada itinerary has something for everyone. From stunning mountain ranges to incredible dining experiences, this trip has it all. Enjoy the great outdoors with a hike in Stanley Park or take a leisurely stroll along False Creek and Granville Island.
Explore the culture of the city at one of the many museums in town or take a cruise around Vancouver Harbour for great views and even better stories.
At night, enjoy fine dining experiences at one of the award-winning restaurants or head out for some live music and entertainment. No matter what you choose to do here, your 3 days in Vancouver will be nothing but unforgettable!
So whether you are a seasoned traveller or just getting started on your journey, there’s no better way to soak up everything that Canada’s west coast has to offer than with a 3 day itinerary in Vancouver. Mix and match these ideas to suit your needs and find out why Vancouver is truly one of North America’s crown jewels.
Recommended tours in Vancouver
- Granite Falls Zodiac Tour by Vancouver Water Adventures
- A Wok Around Chinatown: Culinary and Cultural Walking Tour Led by a Chef
- Victoria and Butchart Gardens Day Trip from Vancouver
- Vancouver Lost Souls of Gastown Walking Tour
- Gastown Historic Walking Food Tour
- Vancouver Seaplane Tour
- Whistler Small-Group Day Trip from Vancouver
- Sea Vancouver City and Harbour Tour
Read more about Canada:
- Where to Stay in Vancouver
- 14 Adventurous Things to do in Vancouver
- Best day trips from Vancouver
- 48 Hours in Vancouver – 2 Day Itinerary
- 365 Days in Canada – Enjoy the 4 Seasons
- 5 Best Affordable Ski Resorts in Canada
- 5 Things To See And Do In Canada
- 17 of the Best Instagram photos in Canada & who to follow!
- 10 of the Best Ski Resorts in Canada
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